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Cats found to offer support to breast cancer patients

Health Psychology

Written by:
ARAContent

Women facing breast cancer report that their cats rank among the most important of the many loyal, loving and understanding supporters they rely on to help them through their treatment. In fact, cats rank alongside parents and siblings as an important source of daily support, according to a recent survey.

 

Studies show that an important emotional connection exists between pets and their owners. During times of stress or illness, the bond between a pet and owner can be particularly strong. Missy Fish is undeniable proof of this.

 

Fish, a two-time breast cancer survivor, leaned on the companionship of her two cats, Phoebe and Jack, during her treatments.

 

"They were the perfect companions when I needed them most,” Fish says. “They were silent sources of strength and empowerment.”

 

Fish is far from the only breast cancer survivor to attest to the power of her cat. A recent Purina Cat Chow national survey of breast cancer survivors with cats underscores this important emotional connection and relationship.

 

The survey found that 84 percent of women battling breast cancer said their cat had a calming effect on them during their treatment. Cats also provided daily support to the patient, according to 76 percent of survivors surveyed.

 

Dr. Karen Sueda, a Diplomate at the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, says that cats are perceptive to their owner's needs during an illness.

 

“Whether pet owners are fighting a disease such as breast cancer or going through a rough period in life such as job loss or financial stress, their cats often display intuitive behaviors of knowing when they need extra love and support," says Sueda.

 

Inspired by one cancer survivor’s touching story of the role her cat played during her battle with cancer, Purina Cat Chow is doing its part to help the fight against breast cancer. This year, in a partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Purina Cat Chow will donate more than $200,000 to the cause and will raise awareness for breast cancer through the Purina Cat Chow Connected for the Cause campaign.

 

“We have heard countless stories from breast cancer patients and survivors of how they have been emotionally supported by their cats,” says Katy Laciny, Purina Cat Chow's assistant brand manager. “Purina Cat Chow’s Connected for the Cause campaign honors this exceptional relationship and invites consumers to help us raise awareness and increase support for Susan G. Komen for the Cure so that a cure can be found.”

 

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. The organization has invested $1.3 billion toward ending breast cancer, becoming the world’s largest source of non-profit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer.

 

Visit www.catchow.com/pink to hear survivor stories, read about the unique connection between survivors and their cats and share photos of support. For every picture uploaded, Purina Cat Chow will donate an additional $1 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure up to $10,000.

 

The Purina Cat Chow Connected for the Cause campaign culminates this October with limited-edition pink bags at grocery, mass and pet retailers nationwide in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Products featuring pink bags include Purina Cat Chow Complete Formula and Purina Cat Chow Indoor Formula, both available in 3.5 pound and 16 pound bags.

 

For more information on the Purina Cat Chow Connected for the Cause campaign, go to www.catchow.com/pink.

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